Training a dog for farm work or sheep work takes time, dedication and a lot of patience. In order to build a dog’s confidence and get them to the stage they need to be, it requires multiple costly training sessions with an experienced trainer and time spent bonding with its master. Even with the best of intentions and training, some traits can take years to iron out. Because of the commitment and cost necessary to get a working dog on top form, you want to ensure that if something happens to them, your investment is protected.
Are you already covered?
Some farm insurance policies do cover for working dogs under your livestock cover, you will need to confirm this with your broker/insurer. Often, this cover will be limited and will only cover the dog for a fixed amount or only against certain risks. With this in mind, you need to consider the value of your working dog and how much it would truly cost you to replace it on short notice to figure out if you need specialist insurance to cover for this.
Determining a working dog’s value
If you’re considering accounting for your working dog(s) under a specialist insurance policy, you will need to determine the true value of the animal. Your dog will likely be essential to the running of certain areas of your farm and should their loss or injury happen during a peak period, this could cause severe disruption to your farm. The cost of simply replacing them with a fully-trained dog on the market could set you back thousands of pounds, and that’s after you’ve spent your valuable time finding a reputable breeder and trainer. All of these factors, along with vet bills for injured dogs, need to be taken into account in your valuation.
What to think about
As well as insuring your working dogs, it might be worthwhile considering how secure they are in your farm, especially overnight when they could be vulnerable to theft. If your dogs are homed outside of the farmhouse, consider whether you could take any extra precautions. For example, motion-sensitive lighting and CCTV can act as a deterrent to thieves, as well as heavy-duty locks and if necessary, someone to act as a lookout on night patrol. Make sure your dogs are microchipped and keep them healthy and strong with a good diet.
Find out more
Whilst insurance won’t be able to replace your loyal companion, it will give you the peace of mind you need that you’re financially covered for their loss or period of downtime. For a review of your existing insurance and advice on any steps you can take to further safeguard your working dogs, call us today on 0800 281 453.